Random Curiosity

Fall 2011 Preview! »« Spring 2011 Preview!

Summer 2011 Preview!

As the summer season draws upon us, it’s time to take an in-depth look at what’s just around the corner. There are 26 shows to choose from, marking a significant increase from the 16 offered last summer. Brain’s Base is making a splash this season with three productions, all of which show a lot of promise. Sunrise is back with another original series, leading the way in the fantasy department. BONES and Production I.G are going the sci-fi and heartfelt drama route with their noitaminA shows, plus the latter is providing an original vampire series of its own. GAINAX also makes a rare appearance, providing the standout mystery series of the bunch, though J.C. Staff may have something to say about that with its own adaptation. It’s a bustling summer season with a lot of high school romantic comedies to round it out, which is great for getting back into the blogging swing of things.

Continuing with the format introduced in the last preview, each entry is now divided into two paragraphs as follows:

  • A brief introduction to the series and its premise, often with the starring cast of characters.
  • My impressions, expanding on the plot and highlighting specific aspects that interest me.

Once again, the overall impressions at the very end categorize the shows in a way that should help you decide what to watch.


Disclaimer: Regular readers of the site probably already know that my tastes are fairly diverse, but a quick look at MyAnimeList should give everyone else an idea of my seventeen or so years of history with anime. With that in mind, please be aware that I’ll often watch mediocre and even controversial series for the sake of variety, or simply so that I can make an informed judgement at the end. However, I would only recommend such shows if you’ve seen something similar, enjoyed it to a certain degree, and know what you’re getting yourself into. I still have my usual genres, so it’s usually not too difficult for me to decide what to watch based on premise, art style, production, and cast (a big one for me) after going through some source and/or promotional material. For the purpose of this preview, I’ll try to identify what appeals to me about each series, in hopes that it will help you determine if it coincides with your own tastes.

By no means does this list reflect every single anime series that is going to be aired, though it’s meant to be as comprehensive as possible. Shows that stray far from the anime norm or are deemed oriented towards younger children are omitted, so check out MOON PHASE for an entire listing, syoboi’s calendar for specific air times, and Fansub Wiki’s page for who’s tentatively subbing what.


TV Series


Technical Note: The list is ordered by the date and time that the shows premiere. The links in the schedule will take you to a series’ corresponding entry and the “Top” links on the right will bring you back. You can also use the back/forward buttons in your browser to jump between links you’ve clicked. All times are given in a 24-hour, relative-day format where times are extended to show which day they belong to. For instance, Friday morning at 1:30AM would become Thursday at 25:30 to show that the episode aired late Thursday night.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou
17:30 MX (7/3)
Natsume Yuujin-chou San
25:30 TX (7/4)
Kami-sama Dolls
25:30 TX (7/5)
Nyanpire The Animation
22:54 Kids Station (7/6)
Usagi Drop
24:45 CX (7/7)
22:00 ANIMAX (7/1)
Nekogami Yaoyorozu
08:30 AT-X (7/9)
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation
24:30 CTC (7/3)
Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel
25:45 tvk (7/4)
25:29 NTV (6/28)
25:15 CX (7/7)
23:00 AT-X (7/1)
Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000%
24:00 MX (7/2)
Manyuu Hikenchou
25:00 tvk (7/10)
26:00 TX (7/4)
Morita-san wa Mukuchi.
25:30 KBS (7/5)
25:25 TBS (7/7)
Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
25:05 TVS (7/8)
25:00 tvk (7/9)
25:40 MBS (7/7)
Dantalian no Shoka
25:23 TX (7/15)
Sacred Seven
26:28 MBS (7/2)
Mayo Chiki!
25:55 TBS (7/7)
Kami-sama no Memo-chou
25:30 MX (7/8) *
Mawaru Penguindrum
26:10 MBS (7/7)
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
26:15 TX (7/7)
Double-J | だぶるじぇい Top
Animation: DLE Premiere: June 28, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:29
Episodes: Station: Nippon TV (NTV)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The Yuruani (“loose anime”) comedy programming block is continuing on with a Flash-based adaptation of Nonaka Eiji (Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou) and Asakura Maru’s (090 ~Eiko to Issho~) popular gag manga, Double-J. The humor follows the everyday lives of four high school girls, and picks up when Usami Hajime (Oohashi Ayumu) and her friend Arima Sayo (Katou Emiri) enter Nagashima High. Joining a club is mandatory, so the two of them look around for the “Go Home Club”, i.e. no club, and stumble upon the “Traditional Arts & Crafts Preservation Club”. Confused, they decide to take a peek and meet vice president Chousokabe Aya (Satou Kanami), who specializes in writing omikuji, and Sassa Maria, a.k.a. Tsumayouji-san (Omigawa Chiaki), who makes toothpicks. It turns out all the club members are carrying on their families’ trade skills, some of which are pointless in modern day like in Maria’s case. Bewildered by their seriousness, Hajime decides to join and takes Sayo with her, much to the latter’s dismay.

In execution, Hajime acts as our doorway into this unusual club as she tries to take part, whereas Sayo just speaks her mind about how overly serious they are about their work. An odd premise no doubt, yet it works well in providing a lot of quirky scenarios and some limelight to forgotten arts. Other characters include club president/artist Toba Ichirou (Hayama Nobuyuki), rain gutter maker Houjou Ema (Taketatsu Ayana), fortune teller Sanada Shizuma (Hirohashi Ryou), plus members of the manga research and manzai research clubs. Compared to Morita-san, I did find Double-J’s manga a lot funnier. I’m still not expecting too much given its short five-minute format, but judging from the odd Yuruani episode that I caught last season, the Flash animation is more than adequate for this type of show. If you enjoyed “Honto ni Atta! Reibai-Sensei”, then this is probably worth checking out. I’m leaning towards taking a peek as well.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
BLADE | ブレイド Top
Animation: Madhouse x Marvel Premiere: July 1, 2011
Genre: Action Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 22:00
Episodes: 12 Station: ANIMAX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The last of four Madhouse x Marvel collaboration projects comes in the form of Blade — the story of a superhero vampire hunter who acquired his own vampiric abilities when his mother was bitten just prior to his birth. Known as the “Daywalker”, the vampire/human hybrid Blade (Ootsuka Akio) is seeking revenge on the four-fanged vampire Deacon Frost (Isobe Tsutomu) for killing his mother, which leads him to Japan where he encounters a father/daughter vampire hunter duo. He’s forced to kill the father when the latter is bitten, leaving him at odds with the daughter Makoto (Sakamoto Maaya). However, they eventually see eye-to-eye and work together against Frost’s “Existence” organization, comprised of genetically modified vampires.

Blade is assisted by his long-time friend Noah Van Helsing (Saka Osamu), a descendant of a line of vampire hunters who helps suppress his bloodsucking urges and provides him with advanced weaponry. This adaptation will see Blade all across Asia, from the Philippines and Indonesia to Vietnam and Cambodia. X-Men has been surprisingly enjoyable (more so than Wolverine), but my familiarity with Blade is only from the Hollywood movies starring Wesley Snipes. For that reason, I’m not too keen on following this adaptation, even though I like the vampire aspect and can see it leading to a lot of gritty action. The prospect of hearing Akio (Snake in Metal Gear Solid) in the lead role alongside Maaya is a big plus, so I’ll be checking out at least the first few episodes.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show BLADE Promotional Videos ▼

Ro-Kyu-Bu! | ロウきゅーぶ! Top
Animation: project No.9 x Studio Blanc Premiere: July 1, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life, Sports Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 23:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

From two relatively unknown studios comes a light novel (later turned manga) adaptation about Hasegawa Subaru (Kaji Yuuki), a talented basketball player who gets scouted for Nanashiba High, only to find out that club activities are suspended for a year due to suspicions of the club leader being a lolicon after he ran away with an underage girl. Upon hearing this, his aunt Takamura Mihoshi (Itou Shizuka) invites him to coach the girls basketball team at her elementary school. Dejected, Subaru refuses at first, but is vehemently convinced to give it a try for a week. On his first day, he’s greeted by five girls in maid outfits as per Mihoshi’s plan to make him stay. He later learns of their situation and is captivated by the abilities of the only experienced member, Minato Tomoka (Hanazawa Kana), and decides to coach them seriously.

Rounding out the cast are Misawa Maho (Iguchi Yuka), Nagatsuka Saki (Hikasa Youko), Hakamada Hinata (Ogura Yui), and Kashii Airi (Hidaka Rina), whose seiyuu are featured in the drama-like promo videos with Kana. I’ll be quick to admit that I’d be willing to watch a live-action version starring them, given that the character designs in this anime don’t look quite as nice as its manga counterpart. The female cast is undoubtedly the biggest appeal, though I did find the manga a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It’s a mix of cute and comedy, with the basketball premise to tie it all together. I’m not expecting much, but like Softenni last season, a sports-themed series can be pretty entertaining in its own way. For Ro-Kyu-Bu, it’s cast first, comedy second, sports third.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Ro-Kyu-Bu Promotional Videos ▼

Kami-sama no Memo-chou | 神様のメモ帳 Top
Animation: J.C. Staff Early Premiere: July 2, 2011 at 23:00 on AT-X
Regular Premiere: July 8, 2011
Genre: Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

This is another light novel, turned manga, turned anime, centering on self-proclaimed NEET detective, Alice (Ogura Yui), whom 16-year-old transfer student Fujishima Narumi (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) is introduced to by his classmate Shinozaki Ayaka (Kayano Ai). Alice is a doll-like, super shut-in, and lives in an apartment above the ramen shop that Ayaka works at. Narumi winds up becoming her assistant (read: servant) to solve cases around the city, which she mostly does on her computer without ever leaving her room. They’re aided by fellow NEETs: ex-high school boxer/gambling addict Tetsu (Matsukaze Masaya), military fanatic “Shousa” (Miyata Kouki), smooth-talking gigolo Hiro (Sakurai Takahiro), and Hirasawa delinquent group leader “Yondaime” (Ono Daisuke).

There are a lot quirky character interactions, but what’s interesting is how the story touches upon a lot of underground activity in urban society (e.g. organized crime, drugs), similar to how Durarara did. The cast has been completely overturned from the drama CD in favor of newer seiyuu, which I don’t particularly mind; however, the early parts of the manga didn’t really grab my interest, and J.C. Staff’s direction doesn’t exactly instill confidence, despite how good their work is on the surface. I’m cautiously optimistic because Sakurabi Katsushi served as the assistant director of Shigofumi, and because Alice and Narumi remind me of Victorique and Kazuya from GOSICK. I’ll be watching with reserved expectations and welcoming any pleasant surprises.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Kami-sama no Memo-chou Promotional Videos ▼

Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000% | うたの☆プリンスさまっ♪ マジLOVE1000% Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 2, 2011
Genre: Music, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 24:00
Episodes: 13 Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The “Prince of Song” is based on a PSP idol romance game, and is essentially a reverse harem, romantic comedy with aspiring composer Nanami Haruka (Sawashiro Miyuki) at the center. In pursuit of her dream, Haruka enters a prestigious school for the entertainment business, Saotome Academy, where she has to partner up with one of six aspiring male idols with the goal of passing the Shining Office “newcomer discovery” audition held at graduation. Her candidates are Ittoki Otoya (Terashima Takuma), Hijirikawa Masato (Suzumura Kenichi), Shinomiya Natsuki (Taniyama Kishou), Ichinose Tokiya (Miyano Mamoru), Jinguuji Ren (Suwabe Junichi), and Kurusu Shou (Shimono Hiro).

I can’t vouch for the romance aspect since these adaptations have a tendency for the heroine to grow closer to the guys and never definitively pick one, but something probably could be said about Nakamura Yuuichi playing a 23-year-old cross-dressing idol named Tsukimiya Ringo. (See PV image.) We also have Wakamoto Norio as the principal/former super idol, Shining Saotome. In addition to the main plot, there’s a lot going on with industry idols visiting the school as guest speakers, so it already looks more interesting than Starry Sky. I’ll probably check out an episode or two to hear Miyuki in a leading romance role, but the appeal of that alone won’t keep me watching. It looks like a decent offering for those looking for a reverse harem to watch though.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 1000% Promotional Videos ▼

Sacred Seven | セイクリッドセブン Top
Animation: Sunrise Premiere: July 2, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 26:28
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Sunrise is back in the swing of things with their original series, and this latest one finds Tandouji Alma (Terashima Takuma) in a Kantou port city, where he meets a mysterious transfer student named Aiba Ruri (Nakajima Megumi) asking for his help. Alma is known as a “Yoshi”, one who possesses the Sacred Seven power, but he declines because he’s become an outcast after losing control of his power in the past. Before long, rock demons known as “Ashi” appear and wreak havoc, so Ruri entrusts Alma with a jewel imbued with her will to help him realize his true power to defeat them. It turns out that Ruri is the wealthy daughter of the Aibi Foundation, and is establishing an anti-Ashi organization because of a past incident. She’s supported by her butler Kagami Makoto (Irino Miyu) and a Maid Unit that he commands.

In essence, it’s a battle of good and evil, between those who can control the power of the stones and those who are controlled by them. There are various other Ashi/Yoshi, voiced by the notable cast of Okamoto Nobuhiko, Ookawa Tooru, and Nomizu Iori. Itou Kanae also has a role as one of Alma’s classmates and Konishi Katsuyuki as a researcher who’s studying the powers of “Sacred Takers”. When it comes to Sunrise’s original series, I’m generally quick to get on board regardless of the premise. TIGER & BUNNY has been quite a gem thus far, so it’s even easier to give them the benefit of the doubt and simply look forward to where they take us. Aside from Gundam, action fantasies are one of the studio’s fortes after all. Opening/ending themes by FictionJunction and Nanri Yuuka respectively make it all the better.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
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Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou | ぬらりひょんの孫 千年魔京 Top
Animation: Studio DEEN Premiere: July 3, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 17:30
Episodes: 2-cour Station: Tokyo MX (MX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

This time last year saw the first adaptation of the award-winning shounen series, “Nurarihyon’s Grandchild”, and this summer sees its continuation, subtitled “Millennium-Old Demon Capital”. Quarter-youkai Nura Rikuo (Fukuyama Jun) has accepted his destiny as the third leader of all youkai, despite all the negative connotations associated with them. He still maintains his human form during the day and switches to his adult youkai form at night, which he uses to fend off other youkai factions that are after his title. In all likelihood, this sequel will animate the arcs that introduce Rikuo’s late father, Nura Rihan (Fujiwara Keiji), and involve the pursuit of his killer, the demon fox Hagoromo Gitsune (Noto Mamiko), that leads Rikuo to the old capital Kyoto.

The large cast of characters return, which includes the likes of Yuki-Onna (Horie Yui), Karasu Tengu (Majima Junji), Kubinashi (Sakurai Takahiro), Ienaga Kana (Hirano Aya), as the battle between youkai using their “fear” abilities is taken to the next level. In terms of new characters, Rikuo’s grandmother Youhime (Kuwashima Houko) should be making an appearance as well. I never did get past the first few episodes of season one, simply because I wasn’t looking for a long-running shounen series to follow at the time, and I really have no intention of getting into it now. Regardless, fans of the series should be happy about seeing Studio DEEN back with another season after a year-long break. The director and screen writer have changed for this sequel, but that shouldn’t affect much in such an established manga series.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou Promotional Videos ▼

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation | 異国迷路のクロワーゼ The Animation Top
Animation: Satelight Premiere: July 3, 2011
Genre: Slice-of-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 24:30
Episodes: 12 Station: Chiba TV (CTC)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

We don’t see Satelight studio leading the production of too many shows, but they’re back with this adaptation of female mangaka Takeda Hinata’s lovely slice-of-life series. Set in 19th century Paris, “Crossing of a Foreign Labyrinth” follows a young girl named Yune (Touyama Nao), who leaves Japan to learn about the world. She’s brought to an old shopping district known as Galerie du Roy by a French merchant named Oscar Claudel (Tanaka Hideyuki), where she helps out at an ironworks shop, Enseignes du Roy, run by his grandson Claude (Kondou Takashi). Claude doesn’t like the idea of having to look after Yune, who’s still learning the French language, but is constantly bewildered by her Japanese customs and is slowly won over by her earnest desire to be helpful. Things flip over to a lighthearted air when the wealthy Japanese culture fanatic Alice Blanche (Yuuki Aoi) learns of Yune from his sister Camille (Yahagi Sayuri).

The manga depicts a very cute and heartwarming story revolving around the culture clash between Yune and Claude, which has a very innocent charm to it like the ARIA series. Instead of the waterways of a futuristic Venice, Italy, we have the shopping corridors of Paris, France. ARIA director Satou Junichi is actually in charge of the screenplay, further reiterating their similarities. Yune is a token Yamato Nadeshiko, and won me over almost instantly with her self-sacrificing level of respect. The character designs are reminiscent of GOSICK, since Hinata did the illustrations for the novels. Yuuki Aoi probably would’ve been perfect for the lead role because of that connection, but newcomer Nao (Kanon in Kami nomi) provides a refreshing spin. Most fans will probably lose interest in a slow-paced series like this, but I’m really looking forward to it because of the ARIA vibe and how it makes you appreciate the small things in life.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Ikoku Meiro no Croisee The Animation Promotional Videos ▼

Natsume Yuujin-chou San | 夏目友人帳 参 Top
Animation: Brain’s Base Premiere: July 4, 2011
Genre: Drama, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Natsume Takashi (Kamiya Hiroshi) and his “Book of Friends” is back for a third season, brought to us by the same staff at Brain’s Base (except for the screen writer). Takashi’s had a very lonely childhood because of his ability to see spirits, but later learns that his grandmother Reiko (Kobayashi Sanae) also had this ability. After inheriting her notebook — which contains the names of all the youkai she half-heartedly put under her servitude — Takashi decides to release youkai from their contracts while fending off the ones who are after it. He’s aided by a mischievous spirit named Madara, a.k.a. Nyanko-sensei (Inoue Kazuhiko), who’s after the book himself yet agrees to protect him for the time being. In this third iteration, Takashi continues his journey of annulling contracts with youkai that wish to have their names returned, as he encounters more spirits and learns of Reiko’s teenage years when she beat them into submission.

For whatever reason, I never did get into the first two seasons when they aired, and only recently began watching them as a completed series to watch on the side. In a lot of ways, the premise is very reminiscent of Mokke which I did finish (and Mushishi I’ve been told), and progresses in a fairly episodic manner with its self-contained and often touching mini stories. The somewhat slower, laidback pacing is intended to appeal to female audiences (i.e. more patient viewers), who can appreciate the finer things in a series, such as the theme of loneliness that becomes fairly prominent. The manga is very popular and well-received in Japan, which is why I’ve been slowly getting through the first two seasons when I can. There’s an almost inexplicable charm to this type of show, given how different it is from the more mainstream anime. I definitely intend to watch this continuation when I catch up.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel ~Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise!!~ Top
快盗天使ツインエンジェル ~キュンキュン☆ときめきパラダイス!!~
Animation: J.C. Staff Premiere: July 4, 2011
Genre: Action, Magical Girl Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 25:45
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Judging from Rio -RainbowGate- and Sengoku Otome in the past two seasons, there seems to be a trend in adapting pachinko characters. In the case of Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel, Sammy’s 2006 game was marketed with Tamura Yukari as Minazuki Haruka (Red Angel) and Noto Mamiko as Kannazuki Aoi (Blue Angel) as its moe selling point, and already spawned a sequel introducing new characters, a manga, an OVA, a radio show, a card game, and multiple video games. Haruka and Aoi are students of St. Cherrine Academy, and under the guise of their Angel alter-egos, defend rare treasures from being stolen by a secret organization called Black Auction. In execution, things play out very similar to a magical girl series — right down to their senior Kisaragi Yuito (Hiyama Nobuyuki), who helps them as Misty Knight and throws white roses like Tuxedo Mask.

Differentiating itself from the 2008 OVA, the TV series will feature a new White Angel member, Hazuki Kurumi (Kugimiya Rie), Twin Phantom rivals, twin sisters Tesla Violet (Horie Yui) and Nine Violet (Yuzuki Ryouka), and mercenary soldier Salome (Shintani Ryouko). There’s also a complete studio and staff turnover, with J.C. Staff taking over for Nomad, plus director Iwasaki Yoshiaki (Love Hina, Hayate s2, Ookami-san, Zero no Tsukaima s1) helming the project. All in all, these are positive changes; however, this still isn’t a series I can see myself getting into if the OVA was any indication. I watched a lot of Sailor Moon back in the day when I was starved for anime, so I could enjoy some aspects with the cast involved, but I’m now in a situation where I have more anime than I can watch. If the prospect of hearing Yukarin in another magical girl role interests you, a la Lyrical Nanoha, then this may be worth checking out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
Show Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel Promotional Videos ▼

Yuruyuri | ゆるゆり Top
Animation: Dogakobo Premiere: July 4, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Mondays at 26:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

If you’re looking for a yuri comedy, then look no further than Yuruyuri, a show revolving around a trio of middle school girls, Akaza Akari (Mikami Shiori), Toshinou Kyouko (Ootsubo Yuka), and Funami Yui (Tsuda Minami), and the unofficial “Fun Club” they run in the ex-tea ceremony clubroom. Yoshikawa Chinatsu (Ookubo Rumi) is quickly coerced into joining by Kyouko, simply because she resembles the magical witch anime character Mirakurun (Taketatsu Ayana). The student council also gets caught up in their carefree mix, which includes vice president Suigura Ayano (Fujita Saki), Ikeda Chitose (Toyosaki Aki), plus heated childhood rivals, Oomura Sakurako (Katou Emiri) and Furutani Himawari (Mimori Suzuko). There’s only a “light touch” of yuri humor throughout, mostly from Kyouko and Chitose, but the manga was voted number one by a significant margin in a survey held by Yuri Hime S, the magazine that it’s serialized in.

I didn’t think much of this anime originally, largely due to Dogakobo’s involvement and the green cast of seiyuu, but found it to be a fun slice-of-life comedy with a slight yuri twist after flipping through some chapters of the manga. The contrasting personalities lead to a lot of quirky humor, from the surprisingly book smart yet “lesbian stupid” Kyouko to the quiet and sensible Yui. A closer look revealed that there’s a much more experienced support cast portraying the student council members, and that the director and screen writer of Minami-ke s1 and Mitsudomoe s1/s2, Oota Masahiko and Aoshima Takashi, have been tasked with bringing this comedy to life. I really like the anime’s character designs as well, so this has gone from being a show I wasn’t planning to watch to one that I’m really looking forward to for some lighthearted, Minami-ke-like laughs.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
Show Yuruyuri Promotional Videos ▼

Kami-sama Dolls | 神様ドォルズ Top
Animation: Brain’s Base Premiere: July 5, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

“Girl Meets God” is the tagline for this manga adaptation, which begins with Kuga Kyouhei (Okamoto Nobuhiko) leaving his small village to attend a university in Tokyo. After a group dating event with a fellow student/daughter of his father’s friend, Shiba Hibino (Kayano Ai), whom he wants to confess to, they come across a massacred corpse. Not long after, Kyouhei’s younger sister Utao (Fukuen Misato) comes looking for him, telling him that Kuga Aki (Kimura Ryouhei) has escaped imprisonment after learning that Kyouhei had left, and that he’s responsible for the murder. Utao and Aki are “Seki”, manipulators of their village’s secret Kakashi — mysterious dolls that are believed to be the empty shells of god. Aki was once a good friend of Kyouhei’s, but now believes he possesses a powerful dark power of the Kuga family and intentionally provokes him to try and awaken what he believes is his true nature.

Other Seki come into the picture, including Kirio (Kobayashi Yumiko), a young boy who looks just like Utao, Hyuuga Koushirou (Murase Katsuki), a village member sent to capture Aki, and Hyuuga Mahiru (Hanazawa Kana), a girl who’s come looking for Kyouhei. There’s also Hibino’s university science friend, Karahari Kuuko (Sawashiro Miyuki), who starts looking into things when she’s saved by Utao’s Kakashi, “Kukuri”. The early parts of the manga were surprisingly graphic and showed a lot of potential, as Kyouhei was Kukuri’s original Seki before he relinquished it because of an incident. Aki acts as the catalyst to drive the story, forcing Kyouhei to relive his past. It was really easy to get absorbed in the plot, so this is the series that I’m looking forward to the most this season. With Brain’s Base in charge of the animation and Kishi Seiji directing (Angel Beats, Seto no Hanayome), I can’t help but get a little excited about it.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Guaranteed
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Morita-san wa Mukuchi. | 森田さんは無口。 Top
Animation: Seven Premiere: July 5, 2011
Genre: Comedy, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Tuesdays at 25:30
Episodes: 13 (5 mins each) Station: Kyoto Broadcasting (KBS)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Both simplistic in premise and artwork, this adaptation of the four-panel manga “Morita is Silent” rests all of its humor on the misunderstandings of high school student Morita Mayu (Hanazawa Kana), who is overly considerate of what she says, to the point that she ends up saying nothing at all. Her behavior is the result of her mother Yumi (Nanase Ami), who emphasizes thinking before speaking, which she often demonstrates with some choice words for Mayu’s father when he’s suspected of cheating on her. Most of the comedy is initiated by Mayu’s childhood friend Murakoshi Miki (Tomatsu Haruka), fashion fanatic Miura Chihiro (Hayami Saori), curly-haired Matsuzaka Hana (Nanjou Yoshino), class rep Yamamoto Ritsuki (Hiraga Mie), and “the glasses girl” (Satou Amina), while Mayu provides us with her thoughts in the form of inner dialogue. An OVA was released earlier this year by studio gram, and features the same director and cast.

The character designs have changed under Seven studio’s wing, making the characters stand out a lot more, but the content will likely be fairly similar, seeing as the OVA animated pages right out of the manga. I didn’t find the manga nor OVA overly funny and can’t really see the TV series changing that impression, as the misunderstandings surrounding Mayu are similar to Sawako’s in Kimi ni Todoke, minus all the emotional angst. While I’m all for the humor that comes with misunderstandings (see Mitsudomoe), the material just didn’t click for me. I do like the cast that’s involved though, so I’m going to check out a couple of episodes to see if Seven puts a more amusing twist on things. At only five minutes long each, it’s not much of a commitment.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Nyanpire The Animation | にゃんぱいあ The Animation Top
Animation: GONZO Premiere: July 6, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Wednesdays at 22:54
Episodes: Station: Kids Station
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Vampire cats, samurai cats, fallen angel cats, and foul-mouthed cats. Not exactly the cutest creatures in the world, unless you happen to have the same tastes as doujinshi creators yukiusa and GLAD. Yes, a doujinshi is getting an adaptation this season, which promises to be a “heartfelt comical story” about a cat named Nyanpire (Koshimizu Ami), who has the blood of a vampire surging through his veins, granting him fangs, wings, and most of all immortality. He’s befriended by Dokuganryuu Masamunya (Sugiyama Noriaki), a worshipper of the One-Eyed Dragon Date Masamune who normally vanquishes spirits, yet falls for Nyanpire thinking that he’s a girl, leading to a little cat BL. Others include the fallen cat angel Nyatenshi (Fukuyama Jun), who wants revenge on the gods for ousting him from heaven, the foul-mouthed Chachamaru (Gotou Yuuko), and vampire bats Mouri-kun and Komori-kun (actress/idol Maeda Nozomi).

It probably goes without saying that this isn’t the way I envisioned GONZO would try and make a splash comeback, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and reserve judgement until later. Evidently, Nyanpire is popular enough to warrant an anime, which features a pretty notable cast who have all starred in CODE GEASS, plus an actress/idol to boot, so there’s always the possibility that this will turn out a lot better than it appears. Better is relative of course, as this adaptation has a pretty specific target audience, airing only on Kids Station, so that’s about the extent I plan to look into this fantasy comedy.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Poor Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Usagi Drop | うさぎドロップ Top
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Drama Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 24:45
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The first of two new noitaminA shows is an adaptation of Unita Yumi’s manga for young girls, “Bunny Drop”. The premise is somewhat unusual, and starts off with 30-year-old salaryman Kawachi Daikichi (Tsuchida Hiroshi) attending his grandfather’s funeral, only to find out that he left behind a six-year-old illegitimate daughter named Kaga Rin (voiced by 9-year-old Matsuura Ayu), much to the disbelief of him and the rest of the family. Rin’s feelings about losing her father are quickly ignored, as Daikichi’s relatives perceive her as an embarrassment and argue over who’s going to have to take her in. Repulsed by their attitude, Daikichi decides to raise Rin himself, and she takes an almost immediate liking to him since he looks just like his late grandfather. Thus begins the heartwarming story about a 30-year-old nephew raising his 6-year-old aunt.

As odd as that sounds, the series revolves around the hardships of being a single parent, and the sacrifices that have to be made for a child’s sake. This includes Daikichi frantically trying to find a daycare for Rin, and taking a demotion at his job so he can get off early enough to pick her up. It doesn’t seem worth it at first, but Daikichi soon learns otherwise, as Rin is a very good girl who’s very mature for her age. Prominent characters include his coworker/single mother Nitani (Oohara Sayaka) and her son Kouki (Sakai Noa). There’s also a ten-year time lapse halfway through, picking up when Rin is in high school. The eight-volume manga completed its five-and-a-half-year run this past May, with a live-action movie slated to premiere in August, so there’s a good chance that Production I.G will deliver a faithful adaptation, even though they’re limited to one cour. In any case, I found Rin absolutely adorable in the manga, so I’ll definitely be watching.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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NO.6 Top
Animation: BONES Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Sci-Fi Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:15
Episodes: 11 Station: Fuji TV (CX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

The second new noitaminA show is an adaptation of the light novel variety, set in the year 2013, where Shion (Kaji Yuuki) is living in the futuristic utopia NO.6′s most prestigious section, Chronos, because a medical test at the age of two deemed that he possesses high intellect and aptitude. He’s grown up learning fundamentals until the age of ten and specialized in ecology since then, and everything in his life was looking up. That all changed on his twelfth birthday, when he sheltered an injured corrections facility escapee named Nezumi (Hasoya Yoshimasa) and was later discovered, resulting in his exile to the slums of NO.6, Lost Town. Four years later, he’s suspected of a murder he didn’t commit and sentenced to the corrections facility, but saved by Nezumi. Shion later learns of NO.6′s true nature, and the Mao Massacre that Nezumi and his highly intelligent forest people were victims of.

Much like Usagi Drop, NO.6′s sci-fi light novels recently concluded its eight-year run with its ninth volume this past month, so there’s potential for a very faithful adaptation. Hopefully they’ll be able to pull it off with the limited number of episodes, as the figments of story that I’ve come across have me pretty keen on seeing how it all plays out. Shion and Nezumi’s journey takes them all around NO.6, including the West Block on its outskirts where the corrections facility is located, so it has the futuristic immersive effect going for it too. Combined with the sci-fi/conspiracy aspect, and backed by amazing production values care of BONES, this is already shaping out to be the second series that I’m looking forward to the most.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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THE IDOLM@STER | アイトルマスター Top
Animation: A-1 Pictures Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Idols, Music Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:25
Episodes: 25 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Unlike Sunrise’s 2007 spin-off Xenoglossia that was set in an alternate reality, this second IDOLM@STER series is a more faithful rendition, based on Xbox 360′s THE IDOLM@STER 2 released in February of this year. In the simulation game, you play as an idol producer of 765 Production and help guide a selection of thirteen pop idols to success. The anime features the same thirteen girls from the game along with their respective seiyuus: Amami Haruka (Nakamura Eriko), Hoshii Miki (Hasegawa Akiko), Kisaragi Chihaya (Imai Asami), Takatsuki Yayoi (Nigo Mayako), Hagiwara Yukiho (Asakura Azumi), Kikuchi Makoto (Hirata Hiromi), Futami Ami/Mami (Shimoda Asami), Minase Iori (Kugimiya Rie), Miura Azusa (Takahashi Chiaki), Shijou Takane (Hara Yumi), Ganaha Hibiki (Numakura Manami), and Akizuki Ritsuko (Wakabayashi Naomi).

There really isn’t anything else that A-1 Pictures’ adaptation is promoted as, and little probably needs to be done, given how the first game single-handedly re-sparked Xbox 360 sales in Japan due to its exclusivity. From an anime standpoint, between watching a bunch of teenage girls strive for stardom and watching the same group of girls pilot giant robots to defend the Earth from falling meteors, the latter is admittedly more appealing in my eyes and still wasn’t even enough to get me through all of Xenoglossia. I really can’t see myself getting into this series in its intended form, but I do want to check out the first episode to see what approach it takes.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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BLOOD-C | ブラッドシー Top
Animation: Production I.G Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:40
Episodes: 12 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Another original anime comes in the form of Blood, a series that began with the critically acclaimed 2000 film, Blood: The Last Vampire, and spawned the 2005 TV series BLOOD+ and 2009 live-action film Last Blood. In this latest iteration, the concept remains the same. Kisaragi Saya (Mizuki Nana), a second-year high school student at Sanbara Academy, whose Shinto priest father, Kisaragi Tadayoshi (Fujiwara Keiji), tasks her with the duty of defeating “Furukimono”, ancient demons that prey on humans, and entrusts her with the “Goshintou” katana that has been passed down by the Ukishima shrine. Caught in the struggle are Tadayoshi’s close friend Nanahara Fumito (Nojima Kenji), Saya’s classmates, Amino Yuuka (Asano Masumi), Motoe Nono/Nene (Fukuen Misato), Tokizane Shinichirou (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), class president Tomofusa Itsuki (Abe Atsushi), and their sexy homeroom teacher Tsutsutori Kanako (Miyagawa Miho).

Most notable is female mangaka group CLAMP’s involvement, creating both the character designs and writing the story for it (Ookawa Nanase in particular for the latter). Their past works include Chobits, Tsubasa, and xxxHOLiC, the last of which both Production I.G and director Mizushima Tsutomu had a hand in, making BLOOD-C a reunion of sorts for the parties involved. In fact, the title came from combining BLOOD x CLAMP to commemorate the occasion. Admittedly, I never did get through all fifty episodes of BLOOD+ and left it on the back burner for some time now, so I’m taking a more reserved approach towards BLOOD-C. On paper, it has all the components to turn out as a great original series, including Nana in the leading role, so I’m just hoping that it’ll live up to its potential.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Mayo Chiki! | まよチキ! Top
Animation: feel. Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 25:55
Episodes: 13 Station: TBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

When it comes to animation by feel, that’s often clear indication the series will tread into risqué territory. Sure enough, Mayo Chiki heads in that direction, depicting a romantic comedy where Sakamachi Kinjirou (Hino Satoshi) suffers from gynophobia (a fear of girls), and gets uncontrollable convulsions, nosebleeds, and fainting when he comes into contact with the opposite sex. It’s a condition caused by his mother’s Spartan-like upbringing and comes with a hardened body from being used as a punching bag for both her and his younger sister Kureha (Hanazawa Kana). One day, he accidentally discovers that Konoe Subaru (Iguchi Yuka), the butler of the school chairman’s daughter, Suzutsuki Kanade (Kitamura Eri), is actually a girl. Subaru attempts to beat Kinjirou until he forgets, due to a stipulation by Kanade’s father to see if she’s fit to serve the Suzutsuki family, but Kanade, being the closet sadist she is, threatens Kinjirou into keeping Subaru’s secret in exchange for helping him overcome his gynophobia.

Kinjirou’s situation becomes more complicated when martial arts-loving Kureha falls in love with Subaru after learning how strong “he” is. In the manga, that leads to some humorous lesbian misunderstandings, which contrasts nicely with Subaru’s actual cute and girly self. Having kept her secret from everybody, she’s really lonely and just wants some to talk to, so Kanade constantly orders her to do “things” with Kinjirou for her personal enjoyment. Staff-wise, director Kawaguchi Keiichirou (Hayate s1, Nyan Koi) has me somewhat optimistic, as does female screen writer Yoshida Reiko (K-ON). The premise itself is a cross between Maria Holic and MM, and works pretty well for some lighthearted fun. The character designs and cast are big pluses, which includes classmates Usami Masamune (Ise Mariya) and Narumi Nakuru (Asumi Kana). Yuka also uses a rarely heard, deeper voice as Subaru, giving me more reason to watch this.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Mawaru Penguindrum | 輪るピングドラム Top
Animation: Brain’s Base Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:10
Episodes: 24 Station: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Brain’s Base is a on a tear with three series in production, and this 24-episode original series by director/writer Ikuhara Kunihiko (Revolutionary Girl Utena, Sailor Moon), featuring character designs by Hoshino Lily (Otome Youkai Zakuro), may just be the surprise hit of the season. Similar to Madoka Magica, most of the anticipation comes from the staff involved, as the actual content of the anime in question comes a distant second. There’s very little information available on what this series is about, other than descriptions of the main characters — three siblings from the Takakura family. We have the oldest son/pretty boy Kanba (Kimura Subaru), his prince-like twin brother Shouma (Kimura Ryouhei), and their younger sister Himari (Arakawa Miho), whom they love dearly. Himari is hospitalized due to her poor health and is told she doesn’t have long to live.

It sounds like a potentially depressing story, yet mention of a mysterious girl named Oginome Ringo (Miyake Marie) who’s just as important of a heroine as Himari throws things in for a whirl. The first four commercials also talk about bearing sins and fighting fate, adding to the mystery. Then I get to the latest fifth commercial and see a spinning penguin like the title alludes to and really don’t know what to expect anymore. I’m definitely intrigued though, and will make a decision about watching (and blogging) Ikuhara’s secretive project when I get to see what it actually entails. It’s worth keeping an eye on one way or another.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Good Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! | バカとテストと召喚獣にっ! Top
Animation: SILVER LINK. Premiere: July 7, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Thursdays at 26:15
Episodes: 13 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

It’s been over a year since the second season was green-lit, but we finally have more “Idiots, Tests, and Summoning Beasts”! Our lovable Class F is back, led by the idiotic Yoshii Akihisa (Shimono Hiro), alongside his secret weapon Himeji Mizuki (Harada Hitomi), kanji-deficient Shimada Minami (Mizuhashi Kaori), class rep Sakamoto Yuuji (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), ultimate trap Kinoshita Hideyoshi (Katou Emiri), and pervert ninja Tsuchiya Kouta (Miyata Kouki), as they try to beat the almighty Class A in a digital summoning war and earn the right to take over their luxurious classroom. In Fumizuki Academy’s unique education system, the power of one’s summoned super-deformed self is based on their recent test scores, in an attempt to promote studying by awarding the smartest students with the best facilities. However, the separation between classes knows no bounds, as Class F is stuck with rotting tatami mats and cardboard boxes for desks.

The first season was one of my favorite comedies of 2010 due to its unique premise that just oozes great slapstick humor. There’s a romance element as well, primarily in the form of Himeji and Minami vying for Akihisa’s affection, plus Class A’s Kirishima Shouko (Isomura Tomomi) trying to force Yuuji to marry her. Let’s not forget Hideyoshi, who can cross-dress with the best of them and look just as good as his twin sister Yuuko. The “Festival” OVA was great for tiding things until this second season, providing more of the idiocy that has gotten close to beating Class A on several occasions. Each of the characters’ quirky personalities make the premise work, and we should be in store for more of the same as SILVER LINK is back with the same staff. If you’re looking for a combination of deadpan and slapstick humor, you’d have to be an idiot to pass up on BakaTest. Or was it you have to be stupid to enjoy it? Bah, you get the idea!

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi | いつか天魔の黒ウサギ Top
Animation: ZEXCS Premiere: July 8, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:05
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Saitama (TVS)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

After animating Denyuuden last summer, ZEXCS is back with another one of Kagami Takaya’s light novels. “Someday, The Demon’s Black Bunny” centers on Miyasaki High’s Kurogane Taito (Tachibana Shinnosuke) and his long-forgotten promise with a vampire named Saitohimea (Takamoto Megumi). Nine years ago, “Himea” made a pact with Taito out of feelings of love, injecting him with her “poison” (powers) and granting him pseudo-immortality. “Up to 7 deaths in 15 minutes.” Soon after, they’re torn apart by a black magic fanatic, Kurenai Hinata (Fukuyama Jun). Taito’s spared but his memories are erased as per Himea’s desperate plea, and she’s sealed away in an alternate dimension for Hinata to experiment on. Present day, Taito is run over by a truck while saving classmate/lightning demon Andou Mirai (Nomizu Iori), and his death restores both his memories and Himea’s powers that were sealed in him. They’re reunited after nine long years — 78,840 hours — only to find out that Hinata’s been lying in wait for this moment.

Amazingly, that’s only the surface of the story, as student council president and genius Kurenai Gekkou (Nakamura Yuuichi) has a vendetta against his twin brother Hinata for sacrificing their parents nine years ago. He’s prepared himself for the moment that Hinata would return to sacrifice him to the demons next, and enslaves Mirai to help kill Hinata after she was sent to kill him. This leads to an unlikely truce between Taito/Himea and Gekkou/Mirai. Amidst all that, there’s an army harnessing dark powers, a church exorcising demons, alternate dimensions, Hinata trying to resurrect the powerful vampire Ba’alskra (Koyasu Takehito), plus a classmate who has a crush on Taito, Shigure Haruka (Mina). Needless to say, this is definitely one of the more story-filled offerings this season, which skimming through the manga version confirmed. I see a lot of potential with this adaptation, and am hoping screen writer Morita Shigeru (Kore wa Zombie) will be able to make it all work. I could’ve done without ZEXCS’ added fan-service though.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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Nekogami Yaoyorozu | 猫神やおよろず Top
Animation: AIC PLUS+ Premiere: July 9, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 08:30
Episodes: 12 Station: AT-X
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Local gods haven’t been forgotten in modern day, 21st century, at least not in this “neighborhood deity comedy” starring a female cat god named Mayu (Tomatsu Haruka), who specializes in recovering lost items and memories. In reality, she just ends up freeloading at the home of Komiya Yuzu (Horie Yui), the young owner of the antique store Yaoyorozu, lazing about and playing video games all day. Other local deities join the mix, including another cat deity Shousouin Sasana (Kayano Ai), god of darkness’ granddaughter Meiko (Taketatsu Ayana), god of cherry blossoms Yoshino (MAKO), god of poverty Shamo (Toyosaki Aki), god of harvest Gonta (Sanpei Yuuko), dream eater Makuragi Yurara (Takagaki Ayahi), and god of typhoons Shirasaki Hasumi (Shimoda Asami). There’s also popular mangaka/sorcerer Kamo Yukina (Mizuhashi Kaori) to ensure that there’s never a boring day at Yaoyorozu.

The drama CD cast has been completely swapped out and the replacements are just as good. The cast is definitely one of the biggest appeals, particularly with Tomatsu Haruka busting out the archaic Japanese alongside Horie Yui and performing the opening theme with her. In conjunction with the manga’s comical potential and AIC PLUS+ behind the production, there’s some indication that this will turn out better than it seems. Director Sakurai Hiroaki worked on both Di Gi Charat and Kaichou wa Maid-sama, whereas writer Machida Touko handled the scripts for Lucky Star, so Nekogami should be right up their alley. I really can’t say how funny this is having only skimmed a bit of the manga, but a part of me wants to follow it just to find out.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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R-15 Top
Animation: AIC Premiere: July 9, 2011
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School-Life Airtime (GMT+9): Saturdays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Kanagawa (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Amidst all the high school romantic comedies this season, R-15′s niche comes in the form of a school for gifted students, Hirameki Academy. 15-year-old Akutagawa Taketo (Gouda Aya in her first male role) is accepted into the school, except his talent is something that’s met with strange looks — he’s a professional erotic novelist. Surrounded by a clarinetist, singer, photographer, programmer, mathematician, manager, avant-garde artist, and gymnast — most of whom are girls — Taketo gets caught up in various risqué situations and his imagination runs wild. In reality, it’s the perfect setting, since he dreams of creating a harem one day with his “talent”.

Talk about a messed up premise, which the series isn’t the least bit shy about seeing as it’s advertised as a “messed-up and forbidden school life”. What is interesting is that R-15 didn’t begin with visual fan-service in mind, but as a light novel. A manga followed suit to help with the reader’s imagination and now an anime is going to bring it all to life. To that end, we have a cast of relatively new seiyuu from Production Ace, which specializes on discovering new voice actors/actresses after merging with Kadokawa Production. The only notable ones are Gouda Aya (Q-fueille in Kiddy Girl-and), Nomizu Iori (Nymph in SoraOto), and Tsukimiya Midori (Yuu in Zombie). The most famous cast member is K-1 mixed martial artist and cross-dressing cosplayer, Nagashima “Jienotsu” Yuuichirou, but obviously for a very different reason. I generally look forward to AIC productions, but I can’t say I’m too interested in this one. Director Nawa Munenori and writer Uetake Sumio’s past work on kiss x sis should be helpful here though.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Manyuu Hikenchou | 魔乳秘剣帖 Top
Animation: Hoods Entertainment Premiere: July 10, 2011
Genre: Action, Fantasy, History Airtime (GMT+9): Sundays at 25:00
Episodes: 12 Station: Kanagawa TV (tvk)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Try as I might, it’s hard to give Hoods Entertainment’s latest adaptation the same benefit of the doubt as Seikon no Qwaser when the official site is oppaidaisuki.jp. The focus of the story is the size of breasts in a fictional Taihei Edo Period, during which the Tokugawa shogunate imposes a completely irrational regime that uses the size a woman’s breasts to measure her worth in life. Manipulating them behind the shadows is the Manyuu Clan (loosely based on the Yagyuu Clan), who possesses sword techniques which can “cut off” (reduce the size of) breasts and steal them. They also possess a secret scroll on how to cultivate large, beautiful breasts, which the youngest member of their clan and chosen successor of the Manyuu Arts, Chifusa (Kotobuki Minako), runs off with in an attempt to correct the cruel and twisted world that her clan created.

Chifusa is accompanied by her servant Kaede (Toyosaki Aki) but pursued by her jealous older sister/self-proclaimed “breast hunter” Manyuu Kagefusa (Mizuhara Kaoru), Kagefusa’s servant Kokage (Fukuen Misato), and branch family ninja Sayama Ouka (Noto Mamiko). Leading the Manyuu family is her father, Munenori (Ono Atsushi), eldest brother and heir Muneyuki (Hamada Kenji), and eldest sister Souka (Takagaki Ayahi). Nudity and breast plot device notwithstanding, the manga actually looks pretty cool on the samurai/ninja action side of things. To enjoy that, one has to really overlook the ridiculous premise though, which goes far beyond Qwaser’s use of breastfeeding. To this adaptation’s credit, it does have director Kaneko Hirako on board, plus a very talented female cast that’s been in the likes of Samurai Girls and Queen’s Blade. If anyone’s going to get an adult-themed anime done right, it would be them. I don’t intend to blog this series, but I am curious to see how far they push the envelope on AT-X.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Decent Odds I’ll Blog This: Poor
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Dantalian no Shoka | ダンタリアンの書架 Top
Animation: GAINAX Premiere: July 15, 2011
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Mystery Airtime (GMT+9): Fridays at 25:23
Episodes: 12 Station: TV Tokyo (TX)
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Taking over GOSICK’s time slot is a remarkably similar anime, adapted from Asura Cryin’ creator Mikumo Gakuto’s other light novel series, “Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian”. The story begins with Hugh Anthony Disward, a.k.a. Huey (Ono Daisuke), inheriting the estate of his late grandfather, a bibliomaniac who didn’t hesitate to trade half his fortune for a rare book. In a hidden cellar, he comes across mountains of books and a doll-like girl in a black dress with a huge padlock on her chest quietly reading a book. Her name is Dalian (Sawashiro Miyuki), the keeper of the Dantalian Bookshelf, a collection of forbidden magical books. With the key Huey’s grandfather left behind, he can unlock the wealth of knowledge from the 900,666 “phantom books” stored in Dalian, and together they investigate incidents caused by the misuse of such books.

GAINAX’s work is always worth keeping an eye on, so their involvement caught my attention right away. What kept it was the manga version I flipped through, which featured some pretty graphic murders that Huey and Dalian looked into. At the same time, there was no shortage of lighthearted moments where Dalian can be quite demanding. “Like mother like daughter” is the parallel I drew since Miyuki voiced Cordelia in GOSICK, but a more relevant one is Index in To Aru no Majutsu no Index, given the nearly one million magical books that Dalian is a gateway to. Like Index, she uses the knowledge she possesses for incantations. An overarching plot should develop as the two of them solve more cases and come across other bookkeepers like Dalian, so I’m looking forward to watching Dantalian no Shoka as my mystery series of the summer. Dark and mysterious fantasy set in Great Britain? I like the sound of that.

Odds I’ll Watch This: Guaranteed Odds I’ll Blog This: Good
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OVA / Movie


Technical Note: OVAs are sorted by the date they are released. For series that have multiple episodes coming out over the course of the season, please refer to the Notes column for additional dates. More information on each OVA can be found on their respective websites, including promotional videos in some cases. Movie premiere dates are not included since they don’t mean a whole lot to viewers outside of Japan. DVD/BD movie releases are however. This list is likely incomplete and will be updated as more titles surface. If you notice anything missing, please feel free to point it out in the comments or e-mail me directly.

Release Date Title Notes
07/20 Saint Seiya THE LOST CANVAS Meion Shinwa 2: Vol.6
聖闘士星矢 THE LOST CANVAS 冥王神話 第2章 VOL.6
07/21 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira: file.01 | ひぐらしのなく頃に煌 file.01
09/22: file.02.
07/22 Break Blade 6 – Doukoku no Toride | 劇場版 ブレイクブレイド 第六章 慟哭ノ砦
BD/DVD movie release. Finale.
07/27 Hellsing VIII | ヘルシングVIII
08/05 Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA Series: Okita Chapter | 薄桜鬼 碧血録 OVAシリーズ 沖田編
08/14 Carnival Phantasm 1st Season | カーニバル・ファンタズム 1st Season
Characters from various TYPE-MOON works.
08/25 Tantei Opera Milky Holmes: Special Chapter | 探偵オペラ ミルキィホームズ 特別編
Airing on Tokyo MX, Niconico, etc.
08/26 Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA Series: Saitou Chapter | 薄桜鬼 碧血録 OVAシリーズ 斎藤編
08/26 Towa no Quon | トワノクオン
First BD/DVD release of a six-part movie series.
09/22: Movie 2.
08/26 Vitamin X -Addiction-: Act. 1
09/22: Act. 2
09/14 Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai OAD | 神のみぞ知るセカイ OAD
Bundled with manga vol. 14.
09/22 Ah My Goddess OAD vol. 43 | ああっ女神さまっ OAD 43巻
Bundled with manga vol. 43.
09/22 Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai OAD (7) | 僕は友達が少ない OAD (7)
Bundled with manga vol. 7.
09/27 Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi ~Onodera Ritsu no Baai 6~ Premium Anime DVD Limited Edition
世界一初恋~小野寺律の場合6~ プレミアムアニメDVD付き限定版
09/30 Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA Series: Harada Chapter | 薄桜鬼 碧血録 OVAシリーズ 原田編
Summer 2011 Kuttsukiboshi: Last Chapter | くっつきぼし 後編

Overall Impressions


While I only marked down two series as guaranteed blogs — Kami-sama Dolls and Sacred Seven — I’m pretty set on watching a lot more than that. There are actually a bunch of shows I’d like to cover on Thursday and Friday. The only reason I’m not committing to any of them yet is because I want to see an episode first before deciding. I really don’t want to cover more than one series a day if I can avoid it. I also need to run it by the other writers to see what they’re interested in covering, so please check back for any updates on the blogging side of things.

At the moment, this is my blogging shortlist broken down to days (Good or higher odds, underline means guaranteed):

I’m actually hoping to blog the Ouran High School Host Club live-action drama that will start airing on Fridays too, but I’ll have to see if I can make time for that. In any case, see below for the categorized series breakdown.


High expectation shows give me reason to believe they have the makings of a very good series that should appeal to the widest audience in their given genres. If you consider yourself a “casual” fan who only gets your toes wet every season by watching the “best” shows (i.e. popular ones that generate the most buzz), then these are the ones I feel you should keep an eye out for. I’m also expecting good things from these shows, so if they fall short, disappointment is understandable. Note: The lists are in alphabetical order.

Moderate expectation shows don’t provide any immediate indication that they’ll be amazing in retrospect. This is often the case with shows that fall into one of anime’s overused plot devices, which most people, particularly self-proclaimed critics, will perceive as mediocre at best. However, from my experience, these shows still provide a great deal of entertainment and may turn out a lot better than they appear. They’re good for “regular” fans who are aware of all these tropes and don’t mind seeing them used in different settings. I like sifting through these since romantic comedies are among them. Personal tastes come heavily into play, so your mileage will vary.

Low expectation shows don’t seem to be striving for much and choose to focus on more frivolous aspects such as senseless humor and fan-service. That doesn’t mean they’re the bottom of the barrel and shouldn’t get any consideration, but simply that you need to keep in mind what kind of show it is. Generally only “avid” fans will be interested in seeing what these have to offer, because they’re already watching all the better shows.

Niche shows break away from the norm by being slower-paced, extremely dark/grotesque, or even controversial. In most cases, these shows are oriented towards older audiences or those who feel that anime has become far too repetitive and want something different. Shows of this category tend to be highly underappreciated but can turn out to be hidden gems for that very reason. Includes works oriented toward female audiences.

Established shows are generally long-running manga/anime series, geared towards younger viewers who are already fans of them. A commonality is that they all air early morning on weekends or well before midnight on weekdays so that “normal” people can actually watch them. They aren’t very dependent on expectations but a love for never-ending shows and a willingness to get into all the material that’s out if they’re completely new to you. Shounen series fall into this category, hence why I treat them differently.

Last but definitely not least are the series that I’m not sure what to make heads or tails of yet. Expectation-wise, they fall somewhere between moderate to high due to that unknown factor and are potential surprise hits of the season. If their premises sound interesting to you, I’d say they’re worth checking out.

June 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm
  • June 26, 2011 at 4:49 pmbillng

    Definitely will be checking out Baka to test season 2, dont know about the other shows though.

  • June 26, 2011 at 5:17 pmAerione

    Eh, the writer for Sacred Seven, isn’t he the same person who has being writing Yu-Gi-Oh for the last 7-11 years or so…..?
    Or at least, the style seems extremely similar….

    • June 26, 2011 at 5:40 pmDivine

      That’s correct. It’s Yoshida Shin.

      • June 27, 2011 at 11:43 amAerione

        Urgh, then hopefully he have learned to deal with those plot holes of his, as the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh was full of that….

      • June 27, 2011 at 11:48 amkazukifafner

        Well, he has worked on shows other than Yu-gi-oh, so I’m not too worried about how he is going to handle the series.

  • June 26, 2011 at 6:38 pmShirou

    Anyone know what’s going on with the second season of Angel Beats?

    • June 26, 2011 at 7:52 pmNix

      not on cart driver’s list for summer or fall 2011. looks like u’ll have to wait til after that.

  • June 26, 2011 at 7:53 pmNix

    hey Divine are u goin to add Double J? I thought the guy who did it was really big.

  • June 26, 2011 at 8:05 pmHotaru

    So I’ve been stalking this site for quite some time now. I figure it’s time to come in and say THANKS for all you do!
    ^_^ I can’t wait till the summer line up starts. ^.^!!

  • June 26, 2011 at 9:44 pmThe Moondogg

    I heard Ro-Kyu-Bu is Slamdunk, harem-fied and loli-fied, will anyone clarify? As I read the previews I seem to see a good season ahead. If Divine would need another Blogger, I’m here: I’m thinking of watching every one of it….for the first month, and drop those that doesn’t live up my expectations. Also Fall’s 2011 is already forming with Persona 4 riding the waves.

    Best year yet for anime: 2011….
    Why: It’s finally “quality” over “quantity”….

    • June 27, 2011 at 2:39 amSoiyeruda

      Slamdunk (manga) Plot: Delinquent joins a basketball team to win the heart of the one girl who didn’t reject him.

      Ro kyu bu Plot: High School student becomes the coach of an elementary school’s girl’s basketball team as a request by his aunt after the his basketball team is disbanded due to the coach being suspected of being a lolicon.

      Only similarities seems to be that they’re basketball related. Otherwise, Ro-kyu-bu doesn’t look like a harem and though it does have lolis, they’re more there for moe and not for fanservice, at least based off what I skimmed through in the first few chapters of the manga. Oddly enough, the series sounds more like a drama series and the the chapters I read reinforce this, though the series is labeled as a sports comedy.

      It looks like the sport will actually be somewhat significant in the plot (unlike Softenni), so personally, I’ll enjoy my moe lolis playing basketball. :S

  • June 26, 2011 at 10:36 pmkami

    Divine, please please please cover Usagi Drop your self!

  • June 27, 2011 at 12:37 amThe Big Guy

    No mention of the new Black Lagoon and Hellsing Ultimate OVAs? That’s a shame.

    • June 27, 2011 at 3:26 amDivine

      Not a shame if you saw they were already mentioned three months ago in the spring season preview. I could probably add Hellsing though, since it was delayed until July.

  • June 27, 2011 at 2:37 amShageki

    Carnival Phantasm(OVA), Characters from Shingetsutan Tsukihime and Fate/stay night?

  • June 27, 2011 at 3:58 amoutcast

    How did divine experience his sabatiseason?

    • June 27, 2011 at 4:45 amDivine

      To be quite honest, it didn’t feel like enough of a break and I was hoping to extend it for another three months. However, over the course of the season, I realized I can’t laze away for much longer and need to take an active role on the site again.

      • June 27, 2011 at 7:40 amMrRei

        heh.. the readers miss you! besides, i think you want to write about sacred seven. when you see metal armor or mecha you tend to write about them.. especially if it’s sunrise.

        remember, you can always take a break when it gets out of hand. just don’t make it a permanent one.. yet. :D

  • June 27, 2011 at 7:23 amAzuma

    I’m really interested in Manyuu Hikenchou, since one of my favorite seiyuus Noto Mamiko is playing a ninja. However I couldn’t stand watching Seikon no Qwaser I’m wondering if I could stomach this show…

  • June 27, 2011 at 9:36 amsamixxa

    i don’t like saya character design :(

  • June 27, 2011 at 9:40 amMad_Dog

    Yuru Yuir
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation
    and iDOLMASTER

    Mayo Chiki!
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi


  • June 27, 2011 at 9:49 ammischief

    still no p4 eh..

    • June 27, 2011 at 10:36 amkazukifafner

      I believe that’s coming in the Fall.

  • June 27, 2011 at 12:48 pmKrazyKobun

    Must watch for me:
    Mawaru Penguindrum (So mysterious, Ikuhara is a legend!!!!)
    The iDOLM@STER (I love the games.)
    Blood-C (Will most likely be better than the original movie.)
    Sacred Seven (Might be mecha musuko fun.)
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation (Looks heartwarming and endearing.)

    May watch:
    Dantalian no Shoka
    Kami-sama no Memo-chou
    Kamisama Dolls

    People are really sleeping on The iDOLM@STER… The production staff for it is very notable. Atsushi Nishigori has done some awesome animation for various anime, such as Panty & Stocking, Gurren Lagann, and the Rebuild Evangelion films. So I’m looking forward into what direction he’ll take the material in. Hopefully its interesting while being fun.

    • June 27, 2011 at 1:10 pmRintarou

      Maybe in the west, but over in Japan it’s one of the most anticipated anime of the summer. Given the popularity of the source material and strength of the production values, many are predicting this to be more popular than K-ON (IIRC the director himself said they’re aiming for K-ON). I personally can’t wait to hear all my favorite seiyuu together in one anime. And A-1 Pictures is bringing in some top talent for the animation, so it’s sure to look good.

      • June 27, 2011 at 1:24 pmKrazyKobun

        Yup. I think they don’t want to slack off with the material as they know the fanbase for THE iDOLM@STER is crazy and will not accept another mediocre adaptation. I’m just hoping it won’t be too shallow. I want to see all of the girls well characterized in their respective story arcs. I have a tiny feeling that it won’t just be straight up “moe, moe” even if it looks to be so.

        Food for thought: Kazuya Tsurumaki; the director of FLCL, will storyboard the 4th episode. Yeah… This is gonna be a very pretty anime.

    • June 27, 2011 at 4:16 pmDivine

      For that very reason, I originally had IDOLM@STER under the “Established” category, but decided it was still too niche for a lot of people.

  • June 27, 2011 at 12:57 pmCharly Chang

    Nothing much to look forward to this summer besides Kamisama Dolls or Sacred Seven which are decent in my opinion hope S7 doesn’t turn out into that Star Driver junk.
    I do look forward to th Carnival Phantasm OVA and Higurashi OVA and the fall season.

  • June 27, 2011 at 1:44 pmRintarou

    Definite watches in order of interest:

    Mawaru PenguinDrum: Ikuhara’s original anime that we have almost no info on? Must see anime of the season.

    Blood-C: CLAMP doing an original story and Production I.G. bringing out some of their best animators shows a lot of promise.

    Sacred Seven: Obligatory original Sunrise anime.

    The IDOLM@STER: A-1 Pictures bringing out top guns to animate our favorite seiyuu all clustered in one anime? Fuck yes.

    Natsume Yuujinchou San: Loved the first two seasons, and I heard the arc this season is covering is one of the best yet.

    Kamisama Dolls: Looks like a good thriller, although Brain’s Base didn’t put their best animators behind this since they’re occupied with Natsume and PenguinDrum.

    No. 6: The animation looks great, as expected of BONES.

    Dantalian no Shoka: Don’t have much expectation for this since the team is inexperienced, but hopefully it will surprise me.

    Kami-sama no Memochou: It could be interesting if done right…but J.C.Staff haven’t been too hot lately.

    Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou: With a new director and writer, hopefully they stick closer to the manga and do the upcoming arc justice.

    Mayo Chiki: feel is pretty good at making interesting ero anime with good visuals.

  • June 27, 2011 at 3:47 pmdxb_blackwolf

    Itsuka Tenma’s manga was amazing but it sure got a little amount of votes.

  • June 27, 2011 at 8:02 pmGuardian

    This season looks kinda like crap to me. A second season of Baka no Suck just rounds out the bottom of the barrel. Compared to the last two seasons, these next two are full of garbage.

    • June 29, 2011 at 12:08 amThe Moondogg

      Looks like your alone in that one Guardy. I mean, everyone likes CG backgrounds, 2D characters and sprites, technicolor battles and idiotic comedy up to eleven. =)

  • June 27, 2011 at 9:14 pmKami

    Are they ever going to do Kannagi S2? whats the holdup? that ended in a major cliff hanger.

  • June 27, 2011 at 9:45 pmjellayrei

    I heard persona 4 is getting an anime this fall so I’ll reserve my excitement for then =P

  • June 28, 2011 at 1:13 amhOmeRunDaisuki

    there are a lot of good shows this coming season. And I don’t have the right to watch any of ‘em since my spring anime’s– i haven’t seen their latest/last episodes. T___T

    On my list though:

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • June 28, 2011 at 1:50 amhOmeRunDaisuki

    Biglobe Poll: Summer Anime with Highest Interest Level

    I do think Idolm@ster is going to be the new k-on. But man, all the girls are hard to resist. <<333 Prolly, this is going to be mah favorite this season.XDDD

    • June 29, 2011 at 12:38 amThe Moondogg

      Hard to think that IdolM@ster will be the new K-On because it was a videogame that existed on parallel with K-On. It’s idol’s work instead of school setting. And while K-On has time for tea, expect the girls in IdolM@ster to work their butts off with all the concerts, guest appearances, etc.

      • July 1, 2011 at 11:04 pmCroos

        agree. i think there will be more dancing , singing and other idol stuff. in it

      • July 5, 2011 at 9:57 pmhOmeRunDaisuki

        i’m quite aware of that.but i was tellin’ about how a mere musical show with bunch of girls will make a boom just like k-on. lookin’ at how much hype it has been getting, i do believe it’s gonna cause a wave!! XD

        anyway, chihaya and azusa are just so cuuuuute!! <<33

  • June 28, 2011 at 5:26 amAgeha

    So looking forward to Sacred Seven, since main voice, Aruma by Terashima Takuma who had voiced Apollo of Sousei no Aquarion and Ruri voiced by one of our known Macross utahime, Nakajima Megumi. It’ll be interesting to see how this show goes.

    On the other hand, Gundam Age just pretty much reminded of everybody of Victory Gundam, GG Gundam & Gundam Wing.

  • June 28, 2011 at 5:33 ambonnie

    None of you have noticed that most of this season has plot and character driven storylines. because that what we western anime fans want right? more stories that we allow us to care about the characters and their situations surrounding the plot. Also Blood-c reminds me of X/1999 but with a girl as the protaginist and a meganekko to boot. More glasses love!!! what happened to shoes like alice academy, child’s toy, and cardcaptor sakura that despite the magic part of the story still dealt with the hardships of elementary school kids growing up instead of creepy loli stuff.

  • June 28, 2011 at 8:30 amjsmith1a2000

    very comprehensive and concise work again, thanks!

    you never finished blood + ? wow I never thought that I actually know a show that you never finished lol! well I still think it was good, there was a nice twist in the middle, then it kinda slows down 3/4 through, just to pick up in the last 3-4 episodes and the ending was good too. I think you’d enjoy it if you have time to watch it.

  • June 28, 2011 at 8:58 amHagiri

    Where is Kami Nomi Season 3?

    • June 28, 2011 at 10:23 pmKevin

      I think Manglobe doesn’t want to do it yet since it’s not that popular in Japan. I’ve heard rumors that they’re going to sit on it for a year or so. Sad cause I don’t read the manga of any anime LOL. :(

  • June 28, 2011 at 10:06 pmkamsome

    i hope this season will be good

  • June 28, 2011 at 10:19 pmKevin

    AH. There’s too many anime I want to watch plus the four continuing ones from last season (Hanasaku Iroha, Steins;Gate, Ao no Exorcist, Nichijou). I think I’m going to drop AnE and Nichijou. :(

    Kami-sama no Memo-chou (premise is interesting, character reminiscent of GoSick, btw why does JC Staff have a bad rep?)
    Sacred Seven (since it’s so hyped)
    Ikoku Meiro no Croisee The Animation (ah, a calmer story)
    Kami-sama Dolls (since Divine’s has guaranteed to blog it, it must be interesting)
    Usagi Drop (I’m a sucker for dramas)
    No. 6 (sci-fi yes)
    Mayo Chiki! (reminiscent of MM!, which I loved)
    Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! (who doesn’t want to watch season 2 of our bakas?)
    Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi (fantasy.)
    Mawaru Penguindrum (they were so clever when they didn’t release info about it)
    Dantalian no Shoka (reminiscent of GoSick, and the premise is even more intriguing)

    If I Have Extra Time (most likely not):
    Yuruyuri (the Mitsudomoe director/screenwriter involvement interests me)
    THE IDOLM@STER (I can watch a lot of this stuff)
    R-15 (same reason as IDOLM@STER)

    Waiting for Persona 4 and Working! next season. :(

    • June 29, 2011 at 5:18 amGhostalker

      Regarding your question about JC Staff having bad reputation. I think it will help you best to read the episode impressions of Kiiragi in the series Yumekui Merry pls. note the finale episode and read the comments of the viewers on it.

  • June 29, 2011 at 12:10 amShirt

    Miname-ke laughs are the best. Yuruyuri is going to be best.

  • June 29, 2011 at 10:38 pmBoB

    Nyanpire The Animation…
    “leading to a little cat BL”
    “a little cat BL”
    “cat BL”


  • June 30, 2011 at 5:53 amTiresias

    No Working!!? And had the real robot genre died when I wasn’t looking?

    Boring season is boring.

    • June 30, 2011 at 7:04 amGhostalker

      How can you say the Summer season is boring when its just about to start? I think you should try a couple of series first, then if you really think its still a boring season after that then you can say it with a lot proof on you. For now, your declaration doesn’t hold any water yet.

      • June 30, 2011 at 3:51 pmTiresias

        Because aside from Blood C and Dantelion (which I don’t have high expectations of) none of the descriptions above piqued my interest.

        Still, thank you Divine for the preview. Makes me know not just what to avoid but why. Don’t burn-out yourself

    • June 30, 2011 at 9:02 pmSecsuey

      This looks like the worst season I have ever seen on RC.

  • June 30, 2011 at 11:37 amJason


    Sacred Seven
    Baka to Test
    Kami-sama no Memo Chou

    Can you tell me if Blood-C is a sequal or alternate retelling of Blood+?

    • June 30, 2011 at 4:51 pmDivine

      Your question is already answered in the preview. It uses the same concept but it’s an original story.

    • July 2, 2011 at 8:29 amJason

      Expanding on this post to say that I’m replacing Sacred Seven with Ro-Kyu-Bu!

  • June 30, 2011 at 5:24 pmsecret

    no ecchi…. my heart… :(

  • June 30, 2011 at 6:45 pmsally

    Have any of you noticed that Clamp, Kyoto animation, and Seven Arcs are the only studios that can do moe animes right

  • July 1, 2011 at 2:12 amMisaoFan

    Penguin Drum actually airs on July 7th, on MBS, every Thursdays at 25:40 (Japanese Time).

    • July 1, 2011 at 3:12 amDivine

      Hmm, looks like MBS preempted TBS by one day. It actually airs on Thursdays at 26:10. Either way, thanks for pointing out the change.

  • July 1, 2011 at 10:46 amBlitz

    Anthing by BONES is a must watch for me. Although I must say Gosick disappointed me quite a bit.

  • July 1, 2011 at 12:19 pmZwei

    Blood-C Opening in case you guys are interested, anyway, this was taken from the pre-air webcast
    in any case, this so cool, the song and the op sequence is perfect, and i’m loving Kisaragi Saya already ^^

  • July 3, 2011 at 9:02 amKiyoneSaya

    Blood C is already out on the site I watch animesaeson.com I was not that impressed by the first episode the parts that intrigued me were short lived but I watch atleast the next on to make an informed decision.

  • July 3, 2011 at 9:19 amescalator

    Usagi Drop already my favorite and Kami-sama no Memo-chou looks like it will be ok and now we wait.

    • July 7, 2011 at 11:29 amescalator

      Just watched Usagi drop and its to good to be true, i highly recommend it to anyone who likes reality and is fed up with evil vs good robot bashing.

  • July 3, 2011 at 1:56 pmbobbierob

    Your season previews really save me every time, because I often have trouble making sense of all the new shows that are coming out. Thank you.

    And Usagi Drop is a “niche” show? I don’t really understand how, it looks like it has potential to be a pretty heartwarming drama.

  • July 3, 2011 at 7:59 pmKarmafan

    WOW Ikoku Meiro was amazing. If its any indication of the quality of this summer season then we are in for a great summer of anime. No blood or gore, and no fan service so all the kiddies won’t be interested but its certainly top shelf anime.

  • July 7, 2011 at 12:09 pmKarmafan

    Usai Drop was great. Looks like it is going to be one of the best drama series of the summer.

  • August 28, 2011 at 9:57 amAK-47

    In the end Usagi drop is the only watchable anime this season.

  • September 10, 2011 at 12:57 pmdanny

    Any ETA/idea on when the fall 2011 preview will be up?


  • September 22, 2011 at 8:32 pmurusaiii

    All the Niche shows triumph this season, and all the high expectation ones fell flat!
    Will you be giving the end of season rating for all shows you have watched?

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